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Adonis golden arrow delusion

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Andrew Adonis 'golden arrow' delusionThe theoretical throughput of HS2 is about 19,000 passengers per hour, in each direction. So if its entire capacity were used for commuting in the 2-hour morning peak, HS2 would allow a one-time increase of just 38,000 commuters to London, from everywhere served by its trains.

The capital’s population is reportedly growing at around ‘100,000 per year‘, but according to Andrew Adonis, ‘HS2 helps fix the housing crisis by bringing more homes within easy distance of London’.

[We need a ‘golden arrow’ to link London and the north, Evening Standard, 16 Nov 2017]

[Andrew Adonis:] With HS2, you could live on the outskirts of Manchester and easily commute daily, or a few times a week, to Birmingham or London.

In the opinion of Mr Adonis, “In respect of London, there is a readiness to commute up to three hours a day – an hour and a half each way – provided that all-told quality of life is good enough, that is, whatever the trade-off between housing costs and amenities that works for each individual and family”. But, he says, it’s “critical” that “each of the HS2 stations also have good metro and other fast, high capacity connections to get passengers from the HS2 stations across the respective cities and regions”.

HS2 is supposed to connect Manchester Piccadilly to Euston in ~68 minutes. So how would anyone living on the ‘outskirts’ of Manchester, ‘easily commute’ to a London workplace in ‘an hour and a half each way’?

The Black Country tram extension, approved by the government yesterday, is part of the Transport for West Midlands so-called ‘HS2 connectivity package’. But how long would it take to commute from Brierley Hill to a London office, with a 25 km tram ride, and HS2?

Written by beleben

November 21, 2017 at 12:40 pm

5 Responses

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  1. The comparison of potential HS2 commuter stations to existing classic rail stations is not good. In particular, Toton is surprisingly expensive. House prices & travel times are similar to those of Kettering, but season ticket will be ~6k more. In short, there are plenty of better commuting alternatives already.

    Similarly, London wages are ~10k higher than the East Midlands’, wiped out by the ~13k season ticket.


    November 21, 2017 at 7:15 pm

  2. Today there has been much on ‘super commuter cities’, but the same applies here. How can there be much benefit for Nottingham (one of the main cities cited) if commuters first have to take the tram to Toton (40 minutes) before even getting on the train? Similarly, since Sheffield (another of the specified cities) has opted for a city centre ‘hub’ station, rather than Meadowhall, they will only be on a spur line using ‘classic compatible’ trains on a line that has not yet even be fully electrified, probably with an extra stop in Chesterfield. Will HS2 Ltd be using special bi-mode trains that the Transport Secretary is so keen on?


    November 22, 2017 at 2:32 am

    • Shuttle trains will connect Nottingham & Derby to Toton. HS2 quote Nottingham-London as ~70mins.
      But if HS2 has an economic impact, jobs will be lost from Nottingham & Sheffield to London. HS2 is only advantageous for London.


      November 22, 2017 at 10:40 am

  3. This update on hs2 published in July 2017 appears to show a significant fall in the overall bcr!


    November 22, 2017 at 7:19 am

  4. Re my comment at 7.19 sorry but didn’t paste link!



    November 22, 2017 at 11:05 am

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